The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Monday that federal disaster aid has been made available to the state of Louisiana to help residents and communities recover from the damages and losses incurred from the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina.
Michael Brown, under secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush. The declaration covers damage to private and public property from Hurricane Katrina that occurred beginning Aug. 29, 2005 and continuing.
The action follows the President’s emergency declaration of Aug. 27 that released federal resources to help meet immediate life-saving and life-sustaining human needs and protecting property in addition to other emergency protective measures. Debris removal and emergency services to assist law enforcement with evacuations and establishment of shelters are also eligible costs covered by the federal funding.
Affected individuals and business owners in the parishes of Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana are eligible for aid.
The assistance will be coordinated by FEMA and can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Federal funding is available to State and eligible local government in the parishes of Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance.
Federal funding also is available to State and eligible local governments in the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, Desoto, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, and Winn for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance.
For a period of up to 72 hours, federal funding is available at 100 percent of the total eligible costs for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance. The 72-hour period funding at 100 percent excludes debris removal.
Funding, on a cost-sharing basis, is available for hazard mitigation measures in St. Mary, St. Tammany and Ouachita parishes. Damage surveys are continuing and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are completed.
Lokey encouraged those who sustained losses in the designated counties to begin the disaster application process by registering online at http://www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available 24 hours seven days a week until further notice.
Registering on-line is encouraged due to the possibility of high call volume. If registering by phone, owners of commercial properties and residents with only minor losses are urged to wait a few days before calling so those whose homes were destroyed or heavily damaged can be served first. Storm victims with insurance coverage should contact their insurance company or agent before calling to report losses and, if necessary, to request an advance or partial payment of their settlement.
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